Some random thoughts, while flipping thought the movie channels, on nationalism of the Transnational Cinema, independent of what the definitions, the theories, the proponents say.
• South Indian movies have taken over the Hindi movie channels. Flip through the channels and chances are you will come across 8 out of 10 Hindi movie channels showing a dubbed South Indian movie.
• But, poor dubbing! And who suggests such outrageously innovative names. Now, I am not going to name them here. Do some channel shuffling please.
• Dubbed South Indian movies for Hindi movie channels = Dubbed Chinese movies for English movie channels.
• Languages, movies and cultural assimilations: a global cocktail of inevitability.
• Transnational Cinema in Cultural Context: assimilation or subjugation or synthesis?
• Transnational Cinema: bundled entertainment or packaged communication or artistic expression?
• English Cinema and the spread of English across the globe = Hindi Cinema and the spread of Hindi across India.
Thoughts (or questions) on the subtle cultural effects of movies that reach nationally, in case of regional cinema of a country, or globally, in case of the international cinema originating in different countries.
Thoughts (or questions) that come naturally to the fore while flipping through the movie channels – Hindi and English, in this case, in a Hindi-speaking North Indian family – and finding the content of the Hindi and English movie channels populated well with dubbed South Indian movies (on Hindi movie channels) and with dubbed Chinese movies (on English movie channels, though to a lesser extent).
Thoughts (or questions) that come to the mind while flipping through an ever increasing number of English movie channels, giving us the best, the regular and the worst of the Hollywood Cinema.
Yes, if we go by the definition of the term ‘transnational’ (extending or operating across national boundaries-Google) and its literary interpretation, we can say the US Cinema or the Hollywood export is the only dominating Transnational Cinema. No other Cinema reaches to the nations across the globe as the US Cinema, the Hollywood products.
The discourses, the theorizing define ‘Transnational Cinema’ in terms of its production aspects, the elements of filmmaking, liberation from boundaries, the involvement of people, places and concepts belonging to different countries that come together to give us a final product that very much remains a product of that country which is its major funder.
The discourses, the theorizing discuss thematic elements of communication practices like media monopoly, media hegemony and counter-hegemony, consumerism, post-colonialism, World Cinema Vs Transnational Cinema and the cultural influences and their geographical spread, and so on.
Still an evolving concept, some books written, a journal that I came across, some theories proposed, but the literature on Transnational Cinema is still mostly auteur; is still in the realm of the vaguely defined and, thus, is open to interpretations like any concept in the age of the post-modernism should be.
Thoughts (or questions) that come to the fore not on the transnational production elements but on the transnational cultural elements and their imagery, their capacity to draw the mileage from the soft power they possess.
And Uncle Sam being the tallest one with the widest reach (and singular global outreach), enjoys the cross-country runs of huge commercial benefits with embedded elements of cultural and social outreach.
The Transnational Cinema that is reaching to the most of the countries of the world is predominantly the US Cinema, the Hollywood export, in its cultural values.
The nationalism of the ‘Transnational Cinema’ from the US, the sleek Hollywood productions that the global audiences love to cherish, remains American at core.
Like most of the other commodities traded globally, the Hollywood exports, too, have Americanism in-built, giving us the reasons to believe in the ‘American dream’; saving the world, saving the mankind acting as the big brother among the nations; giving us best of technologies, best of production values, at least on screen.
And like any cultural export, it has its acceptable and unacceptable elements (and not good and bad, that is a misplaced way to look at it).
Irrespective of the debates on ‘good or bad’ of such cinema, if the transnationalism of the US Cinema makes us accept the US values, nothing wrong in that. Yes, but that should never allow us to undermine ours.
©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/